Blue House | How To

Red Front Door

August 1, 2013

Remember when I mentioned that I have more than my fair share of painting projects to accomplish? I’m happy to report that I was able to cross one off the list. Our blue house now boasts a lovely, red front door. Yes! As a reminder, here’s a before shot of the door.

Unpainted Front Door at

I wasn’t digging the cream door and brassy kick plate with the white trim and nickel hardware. So, I changed it! Deciding on a paint color was tricky, but I ultimately decided to go the patriotic route and paint the door red. Who doesn’t love a blue house with a red door?

As with any painting project, prep work is an important step to remember. These are the steps I took to ensure my door was ready for paint:

  1. Remove the kick plate. 
  2. Remove the door hardware.
  3. Lightly sand the door. If there are drips from a previous paint job, sand them down until the door is flat to the touch again. If the paint on the door has a texture from rolling, sand until it feels smooth by hand.
  4. Remove sanded particles from door with a vacuum or Swiffer duster.
  5. Wipe the door down with a Magic Eraser or a rag with a bit of dish soap. If you’re paining the kick plate, wipe it down, too.
  6. Be sure to put something down to protect the floor from paint drips and spills.

Once all of my prep work was done, it was time to get down to business painting. When I’m painting a door, there’s a general order I like to follow. First, I paint the lowest parts of the door. Then, I paint the raised panels. I finish by painting the remaining areas of the door.

Painting the Front Door at

I’ve found that it’s easier for me to keep track of where I’ve already painted once I move on to the second or third coat if I follow these steps. I’m sure it’s a personal thing, but if you’ve never painted a door before, give it a try.

You’ll notice that I didn’t paint the area where the kick plate was. The kick plate had rusted to the door, and I didn’t think it was worth my time to try to remove the rust; especially since I was planning to either reuse the original kick plate or purchase a new one.

Happily, I was able to spray paint the original kick plate! I didn’t sand the kick plate, but I did clean it really well before painting. I also used an indoor/outdoor spray paint specifically for metal.

Spray Painting a Kick Plate at

You can see in the above picture that the kick plate was in pretty bad shape. The key to spray painting anything is even, light coats while continuously moving your spraying arm. I lost track of how many coats of paint I used, but the paint dried so quickly outside that it took less than a day. I’m guessing I used at least eight coats of spray paint, which wasn’t bad since it was such a small area to paint.

The front, door, however took six coats of paint stretched out over two days. I knew two coats of paint wouldn’t cover, but I didn’t expect it to take six. Each coat of paint required two hours dry time, so I started first thing in the morning and then let the paint dry enough to lock it up for the night. I started early again the next day and finished up mid afternoon. Once the paint was dry, I reattached the kick plate and hardware.

Red Front Door at

I was feeling pretty accomplished at this point, but something was still missing. I took inspiration from Nicole at doodles&stitches and added some pretty vinyl numbers to the front of the door. Then, I added a quickly-made wreath to finish off the makeover.

Red Front Door at

TaDa! I’m so pleased with the outcome of this door.

Red Front Door Close Up at



I’m linking up to TDC’s Before and After Party!

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Thank you so much for posting such great detail!! I am using he same color on my front door and this was super helpful!! Your door looks new!!

All comments are encouraged and appreciated!